Augmented transcripts of kidney injury markers and renin angiotensin system in urine samples of overweight young adults

Patricia Rivera, Catalina Miranda, Nicole Roldán, Aaron Guerrero, Javier Olave, Pilar Cárdenas, Quynh My Nguyen, Modar Kassan, Alexis A. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Obesity has been firmly established as a major risk factor for common disease states including hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease. Increased body mass index (BMI) contributes to the activation of both the systemic and intra-tubular renin angiotensin systems (RAS), which are in turn associated with increased blood pressure (BP) and kidney damage. In this cross-sectional study, 43 subjects of normal or increased body weight were examined in order to determine the correlation of BMI or body fat mass (BFM) with blood pressure, fasting blood glucose (FBG), and urinary kidney injury markers such as interleukin-18 (IL-18), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1). Our results showed that: (1) subjects with increased body weight showed significantly higher BP, BFM, total body water and metabolic age; (2) BMI was positively correlated to both systolic (R2 = 0.1384, P = 0.01) and diastolic BP (R2 = 0.2437, P = 0.0008); (3) BFM was positively correlated to DBP (R2 = 0.1232, P = 0.02) and partially correlated to urine protein (R2 = 0.047, P = 0.12) and FBG (R2 = 0.07, P = 0.06); (4) overweight young adults had higher urinary mRNA levels of renin, angiotensinogen, IL-18 and CTGF. These suggest that BMI directly affects BP, kidney injury markers, and the activation of the intra-tubular RAS even in normotensive young adults. Given that BMI measurements and urine analyses are non-invasive, our findings may pave the way to developing a new and simple method of screening for the risk of chronic kidney disease in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21154
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


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